Episode 27: Sagiri Seina & Sakihi Miyu

A farewell to Snow Troupe’s Top Stars Sagiri Seina and Sakihi Miyu. Let us know what you love about Chigi and Miyu in the comments below!

(And stay with us through the very end of this ep, because Carly and Chems added an addendum!)

Links to Things Mentioned in the Podcast:

Actresses:

Glossary (TakaWiki glossary):

13 thoughts on “Episode 27: Sagiri Seina & Sakihi Miyu”

  1. Hey y’all! Yeaahh gawsh, where do I begin with Sagiri and Sakihi. So I’m a noob fan, I only fell into Zuka fandom in Jan 2017.

    So how did I find out about Sagiri and Sakihi was through the GRAPH and Kageki magazines when I started translating them. And I was attracted to Sagiri’s warm, laid back, cheeky sense of humor in comparison to the other Top Stars, who are all great in their own way, but Sagiri stood out for me. And once I started digging into the internet and finding various clips on the both of them, and discovering that they’re HILARIOUS together in terms of their interaction, I was sold. I just went on a Sagiri-ton, watching Caleb Hunt/ Greatest Hits, Lupin, Count’s Daughter, Nijinsky, lots and lots of interviews. The 2 of them are just gloriously funny together! I think the appeal to me is that Sagiri is very comfortable in her own skin, she’s loves her job, she loves her co-stars, she loves Snow Troupe and knows how to inspire, push them and get them to jell. She includes people and doesn’t make anyone feel left out, she believes ranking doesn’t exist when you’re on stage. If you’re on stage, we’re all the same because we’re all in it together. She exudes this confidence that makes you want to trust her and she works extremely hard.

    Sakihi is so much in love with Sagiri that it’s funny, it’s like a serious girl-crush level, and the thing is Sagiri plays along with it and is honestly equally respectful and grateful of Sakihi because she knows she won’t be where she is without Sakihi.

    Another thing I find really special about Sagiri is she’s unconventional, she’s not afraid to shake things up if she can. For example, most times, the Musumeyaku is billed 2nd to the Otokoyaku and Sagiri noticed that Sakihi was sort of ‘dumbing down’ her performances to let Sagiri shine as Top Star, but Sagiri told her ‘No, I don’t want you to walk behind me, I want you to walk with me’ and I think that’s a very powerful message she’s given and I think Sakihi felt she only really took off at Caleb Hunt where she could stand on equal footing with Sagiri.

    There’s a clip of Sagiri and Sakihi doing the New Year Sake barrel breaking ceremony in I think 2016 and after the event, you notice Sakihi is waiting for Sagiri to move off first, but if you watch closely, Sagiri sticks out her arm and nudges Sakihi to move with her, as if saying ‘Screw protocol, just walk with me’. And I’ve always remembered that moment and thought ‘that’s just so cool’.

    My favorite Sagiri performance? Nijinsky. She absolutely blew me away. The show itself is so well directed and put together, Sagiri’s performance as Vaslav was so incredibly challenging. I mean, it’s a biopic, biopics are hard! And what more, Vaslav is a ballet god, she knew she had to do him justice and it’s also incredibly difficult content because of the dancing, the full on guy-guy kiss in the first act (which she and Ozuki Tooma practiced so much and so hard to get right) the show also talks about Vaslav’s struggle with his sexual identity, his career, his marriage, his descent into madness. It’s all really CRAZY stuff to pull off, and she did it. And I think after like 8 standing ovations at the premiere, Sagiri was like ugly crying at the end, that to me, was pure magic. She worked so hard and she totally deserved it.

    I also really loved Sagiri in Lupin, that show is just SO MUCH FUN. Like her comedic timing and wit is so sharp and she’s such a charmer as Lupin. The show itself is like an anime episode come to life, it’s so well put together and its so goofy that you just want to watch it over and over again. And then I have no idea how they still have energy to do ‘Fancy Guy’ that’s insane!

    I mean, even in her not so optimum performances like ‘Shall We Dance’ where she tried to do the Musumeyaku thing, I think she really tried and it was interesting to see her do a shy insecure character on stage. She didn’t have that much stage time but I think she tried, even though I think that was the role that nearly broke her and she wanted to call it quits.

    My favorite Sakihi performance – Roman Holiday. Yeah I know she was riffing on Audrey Hepburn’s performance but she still gave it her own spin and I was honestly impressed with her ability to start with spoilt princess, to funny drugged up princess, to spunky girl who’s enjoying her freedom to that realization that she’s fallen in love and at the end, she comes of age and accepts her responsibility as a princess. And I think like being able to express that character arc, she did it amazingly well. It shows me that she actually has a lot of depth and sophistication under there and she isn’t just a vanilla Disney Princess, that’s a lot going on under the hood!

    Another Sakihi performance I liked, her ‘Material Girl’ for ‘Greatest Hits’, I thought that was really impressive, nailing English pronunciation for a Japanese person, is REALLY hard, and I’d say she got it 90% right and preserved the fun spirit of the song, and yes, mad props for working so hard on the English! I think there’s a short interview clip where Sagiri trolls Sakihi on her pronunciation and says ‘Materiar Gir’ and Sakihi just dies from embarrassment in a cute way.

    Favorite Sagiri, Sakihi moment? Surprisingly, not on stage, I mean, the duet dances are great and all but I actually enjoy them a lot more when they’re hanging with each other. There’s a clip where they do their last infomercial together for the Tokyo merch store and they’re just walking about, trying to pimp their merch, they’re just so relaxed and just being silly, shoving each other, flipping through books, wearing scarfs on each other. It’s just stupid fun but because they know each other so well, it’s so entertaining.

    Ok there’s this one moment in the ‘Count’s Daughter’ where Sagiri as Allain first meets Sakihi’s character in her house, and Sagiri confronts Sakihi in a kind of aggressive manner, which I thought surprising to see because I don’t know, it’s interesting seeing Sagiri be domineering kinda? Cause you look at Sagiri and she’s like a pure ectomorph (skinny body type) right, but when she has Sakihi up against a wall you’re like ‘Whoooaaaa, she’s flicked the ‘Christian Grey’ switch!’ I find that really cool, like that change in temperament in a snap of a finger is very impressive.

    I still have a few more things on the Sagiri-ton which I will get round to watching, but else yeah it’s a shame I wasn’t able to watch Shogunate / Dramatic S live. It sure looks like a riot and I’ll catch it on DVD eventually. I’m honestly not sad for Sagiri and Sakihi leaving, I’m actually really excited for the both of them and can’t wait to see what adventures they get up to outside Zuka. I will definitely be supporting them for sure if they have a show or event! I can’t wait to see them on Instagram!

    And yes, I’ll be looking forward to the age of Nozomi and be curious to see what she does with Snow Troupe.

    1. As you can tell from the ep,I don’t know anything about ChigiMiyu combi, so thank you for sharing all your favorite memories and thoughts! 🙂

  2. That was such a good episode. Thank you for sharing all those stories and telling us so much about that amazing combi. Can’t wait for both their Instagrams!

  3. My favorite Chigi performance was Nijinsky. I think that’s when I realized how good she was.
    If you want another example of how she really didn’t fit in with Soragumi watch the shinjin of Lightening in the Daytime. She was with Masako, Hiro, and Nanaho Hikaru (Eriko) and looked so small next to them.
    By the way, there was a 2 part tv show about Kawashima that was played by 3 actresses for different parts of her life. Maya Miki played the older Kawashima Yoshiko and was very good. Can’t remember the year it was done.

    1. Reading the back story of Kawashima Yoshiko. Whooooo that’s controversial (cause I’m Chinese) but the show does sound intriguing. Good try on the Mandarin, it’s a hard language to pronounce for non-native speakers. I’ll check the show out still

    2. Oh yeah! I remember this. I mean, I remember all the hullabaloo when it came out; I don’t think I ever saw it.

      Maya Miki has really shone as a TV actress. 🙂

  4. Great episode as always !
    It was nice to have a new member to this podcast!

    I was also quite surprised by the transfers… and I can’t figure neither what Hankyu is preparing but anyway it almost always ends great so wait and see. Just a bit worried about Ai chan’s rank and future in soragumi now… Hope she stays star tracked one way or another…
    I have also been a bit surprised by Reimi Urara’s retirement. As you said, it was quite obvious but still…. and I have to admit I am not a huge fan of maka-mado combi. They don’t look cery good together and lots of people were saying their combi in Vampire succession was not really looking like a real couple… Madoka still looks so young… In terms of capacity she is more than ready, her last Shinzo performances were mind blowing ! The gap between her baby face and her strong performance is almost confusing!
    But it has been the case for a lot of top musumeyaku and they always end up being awesome so, wait and see 🙂
    Soragumi has changed so much since my beloved Yuuhi Sumi era…..

    And of course, I am really sad about Chigi Miyu… A combi with such a great chemistry is very rare!
    My favorite episode is the famous “would you marry me” in a commercial/interview video for their first performance “the count’s daughter “. Miyu was just soooo adorable.
    And the “Miyu breaks” with Chigi and Daimon of course.

    It seems that Chigi was so sad to leave. I wonder why she didn’t stay a bit more. I am sure Miyu would have followed her… And as all their performances were sold out I guess Hankyu wouldn’t have been against that…
    I think she was a bit tired… Everybody has been worried for her wheight that has dropped down so fast. I hope she won’t loose more wheight in the future because of “post-Takarazuka depression” as it seems that it is very very hard for her to leave…. Retiring can be really difficult for the artists. Especially in her case as she said in interviews she wasn’t sure she wanted to pursue a career In show-business outside of Zuka because she only wanted to be an otokoyaku.

    Good luck to our new combi ! Daimon will be amazing ( as always ) and I am sure her top star run will be very long! For me she was the more ready-to-be-top nibante since a long time! Good luck also to Maaya who is adorable and has a great voice!

    Looking forward the next episode!

    1. I agree Madoka seems young, but as you say, a lot of actresses become elevated to top stars and really work hard and transform themselves. I never saw Vampire Succession, but fans opinion seems pretty divided. I’m looking forward to see how the new Soragumi top combi does.

  5. I haven’t been very good at leaving comments lately but I just want to say thanks for another really good episode! This troupe had such an amazing chemistry, not just because of the “tridente” phenomenon but flowing over into the whole troupe, clear down to the babiest babies of the bunch. Chigi’s energy and personality has been such an enormous source of creative flow for everyone I think, and Miyu was both so solid at supporting Chigi and, later, as a performer on her own merit. I am just so proud of them all and glad that Chigi is leaving while she still has her health intact. (Even though I have honestly been a bit wrecked over this taidan, with it being my first really impactful taidan as a pretty new fan and Chigi being the ‘sienne that kind of brought me from the era of past amazing stuff I had been watching and made me aware of the current state of Takarazuka and the people there now. Chigi has such enormous acting ability and the talent of being different for different roles. I really can’t get my thoughts to verbalize and still be concise but I’m both torn up by my favorite current troupe going through such a drastic change and excited to see where Daimon takes the troupe in the future. Cheers for doing the discoursing about it so I can just sit back and listen!

  6. Ah~ the most recent podcast~ I’m finally all caught up!!

    It’s so great to listen to people who really LOVE this troupe and this top combi; what a sweet send-off. I think Carly mentioned Nakamura-sensei — he really does great all-troupe numbers, doesn’t he? <3 I'm glad that Dramatic S wasn't just a celebration of ChigiMiyu, but of everyone in Yukigumi.

    Chems, thank you for so many awesome stories!! The comments are great too… (And that clip of Maya Miki in Danso no Reijin *_______*)

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